From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar has suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari, as a matter of urgency, convoke a dialogue to discuss the peace and unity of Nigeria.
The Sultan said the meeting should be attended by traditional, community and religious leaders, as well as opinion leaders, people from political and business communities, and other people that matter in the affairs of Nigeria, to sincerely deliberate on the issues of rising insecurity being witnessed from across Nigeria.
Delivering his remarks at the third quarterly meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) in Abuja, the Sultan said the insecurity situation in Nigeria has assumed an alarming and worrisome dimension and could consume more people if urgent steps are not taken to reverse the trend.
‘Things are getting worst in Nigeria by the day especially the security situation. Unfortunately, our military and intelligence agencies seem not to be doing enough to bring an end to the killings,’ the Sultan noted.
He charged the security agencies to fish out the people causing the trouble across the country and prosecute them to serve as a deterrent.
‘It’s important we sit together and discuss the issues that concern this nation. Most times, we meet at NIREC, discuss issues and arrive at conclusion. Unfortunately, people would go about and be doing otherwise, particularly preaching hated and violence.
‘We must be truthful to one another. What is so difficult in the president organising a dialogue that would have in attendance impressive participation of the traditional rulers, opinion leaders, market leaders, elder statesmen and every person that has something to contribute?
‘If such meeting is eventually convoked, we should look ourselves eyeball to eyeball and tell ourselves the truth. We shouldn’t be afraid of such conversation again cos things are deteriorating. Dialogue is the best approach because whatever cannot be achieved through dialogue will remain unachieved with violence.
‘It’s time we rise up and look beyond ethnic and religious sentiments, and tell ourselves the truth that what is happening in Nigeria is not right and make suggestions on the way forward.”
CAN President Dr Samson Ayokunle, in his remarks, accused the president of being sentimental and bias in his approach to the issue of insecurity and governance in Nigeria, with reference to the recent killings in Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States, in which the president chose to react to some of the attacks and keep silence in others. ‘That’s a double standard,’ Ayokunle said.
Secretary to Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, in his remarks, assured the people that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, is fully aware of the insecurity situation in Nigeria and he’s committed to bringing it to an end.
‘The president will continue to give all necessary support to religious and traditional leaders to promote peace and unity in the country. I can assure you that the president is doing everything possible to bequeath a safe and prosperous nation to the next one,’ he said.
‘The president is very concerned about the level of insecurity and the high cost of living in Nigeria. He is working on how to resolve these challenges in the shortest possible time.’
Meanwhile, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, in his remarks, disabused the minds of the people that the crisis in Plateau was religious or political, insisting that it was purely a criminal act that would be punished soon.